Liverpool’s 3-2 defeat at Arsenal on Sunday left the Reds with a mountain to climb in the Premier League title race.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are now 10th in the standings, a whopping 14 points behind the Gunners having played a game fewer.
The Merseysiders were considered amongst the favourites in all competitions on most football betting sites at the start of the season, but things have not gone to plan.
Having seen his team win just two of their first eight matches, the former Borussia Dortmund boss has already conceded his team will not win the title.
“We’re not in the title race,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “We have problems at the moment, but we have to continue. In a situation like ours, we will go out there and fight.
“We are not here for being happy with the situation and thinking about last year. We are very disappointed. Around all three goals we made decisive mistakes.
“The first goal is not what you need. A bad start. We start controlling the game against a very aggressive, full-of-confidence Arsenal side.
“We showed we’re here for a reason, scored an equaliser, a wonderful goal. Then it’s an open game and advantage for us.
“Then we make a bad decision before half time, what are we doing? Worst possible start, worst possible end.”
The German tactician questioned the decision to award Arsenal their match-winning penalty and was unhappy that his own team were not given a spot-kick in the first half.
However, Liverpool’s current situation cannot be attributed to decisions made by officials – anyone suggesting otherwise would be well-advised to reconsider their position.
The Reds’ quest for glory this season has undoubtedly not been helped by injuries to key players and they suffered two more at the Emirates Stadium.
Luis Diaz and Trent Alexander-Arnold were forced out of the game and neither will feature against Manchester City this weekend.
Despite those setbacks, Liverpool still had enough talent on the pitch to take something from the game, but were undone by some familiar failings.
Conceding early goals has become the norm this season and this should not be happening given the talent at Klopp’s disposal.
More worryingly, Liverpool are being outworked by opposing teams – something that has previously been unthinkable.
Key players such as Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk have also underperformed and need to step things up if the side is to salvage something from this season.
It has been suggested in certain quarters that Liverpool are suffering a hangover from their failed pursuit of the quadruple, but that argument does not stack up.
Liverpool are in the business of winning silverware and a hectic schedule is the price every club must pay if they want to win silverware.
While Klopp is undoubtedly playing it smart by playing down Liverpool’s title hopes, it is much too early to write off their chances.
There are still plenty of points up for grabs and his squad has the ability to go on a long unbeaten run if things click into place.
With Man City visiting Anfield on Sunday, there would be no better time for Liverpool to demonstrate that they can force their way into title contention.
A victory over Pep Guardiola’s side this weekend would leave Liverpool 10 points behind their perennial title rivals with a game in hand.
Subsequent games against West Ham United (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Leeds United (H), Tottenham Hotspur (A) and Southampton (A) are all winnable if the Reds get their act together.
A minimum 14-point return from their next six games would put a different complexion on Liverpool’s season heading into the World Cup break.
Their rivals are likely to suffer bad spells and injuries of their own, which would give the Reds the opportunity to claw back the deficit.
Finishing in the top four should unquestionably be the minimum requirement for this season and that is probably a more realistic aim than a title challenge.
If they can get some relief on the injuries front and improved performances from their top stars, there is no reason why this still couldn’t be a successful season.
The domestic cups offer genuine opportunities to win trophies, while the Champions League does not get going properly until the second half of the campaign.
Things may be a little doom and gloom at the moment, but there is still plenty of football to be played and it would be foolish to rule out anything just now.